Friday, March 29, 2013

This Day In History

Doug got the idea for “this day in history” from our friend Kim Kratky who could always remember what peak he had climbed on “this day in history” but not where the car keys were. Being a computer keek, Doug built a function into our trip database (accurate since around the year 2000) whereby we can look up “this day in history.” As there is nothing much exciting going on in my life right now, unless you call daily workouts, scrabble games and endless chores, exciting, I thought it might be entertaining – at least to me – to look back at this day in history. 

On March 29, 2006, Dave, Roland and I, along with Dave's two dogs (both since sadly deceased) skied up to a peak at GR930742 on mapsheet 82F6. We always called this peak North Qua (for no good reason except it it is north of the peak we call Qua and above the Qua Creek drainage). My notes indicate that we took what was likely a silly route up to the ridge between Ymir Mountain and White Queen, trundled across the “death traverse,” crested the Half Dome ridge, skied down an east aspect under Ymir Mountain, then skinned up to North Qua and had an excellent 450 metre run down into the head of Kutetl Creek. According to my notes, after clocking 1200 metres vertical, Dave was tired so went home. 

North Qua From Ymir Mountain

In 2007, Dave (different Dave) and I skied the Seven Summits trail/route from Strawberry Pass to the Old Cascade Highway in the Rossland Range. I actually remember this trip reasonably well as I recall having some trepidation about setting off on such a long ski day (30+ km, 1500 metres of gain) with only one other person. However, with multiple easy bail-out points and no-one else interested in skiing so far in one day, it all seemed reasonable enough. I remember we lost the trail at the beginning when Dave went ahead and I wasn't paying enough attention to where he was going. After that I took the lead and made sure we took the most expeditious route possible. You can't muck about making route finding errors when you have a long way to travel. Snow conditions were probably about average for the Rossland Range – that is, scanty, icy, facetted, and isothermic in differing degrees. I can't remember us having a single decent turn on the entire 30 plus kilometres. The final ramble along the lower section of Record Ridge was a bit tedious as it was slow with skins on and impossible (we had no wax) with skins off. After I reported on this trip, a whole bunch of other people got the idea to ski the Seven Summits, but most of them did it over one or two days breaking the trail up into sections and returning home at night. 

Overlooking Mount Plewman on the Seven Summits Trail

Micha, Jen and I skied from the Hummingbird parking lot up the Whitewater Road out to Mountain Station in Nelson in 2008. This trip is significant in that it is the only “this day in history” trip when another woman was along. We did an extra run on a west aspect of north Mount Beattie as the day is too short otherwise, and, my notes indicate we had excellent ski conditions with no solar effects. I actually like this trip rambling along the ridge before bombing out an old road to a suburb of Nelson and I've done it twice. Lots of people think it's a waste of time, but I like traverses, no matter how short and easy and there is some nice wilderness back in the West Arm Provincial Park. We did the last part down the ridge to the west using a rough compass bearing and came out exactly where the old road starts. Most people use a GPS and still get lost. 

View from North Mount Beattie

In 2009, I drove north to Nakusp and met my friend Bill and we rode his snowmobile up the Wensley Creek FSR and skied up Summit Peak in the Nakusp Range. Before we went home, we also had a couple of sweet north facing runs down into the head of Harlow Creek. A year or so later, Doug, myself, Robin and Betsy skied the length of the Nakusp Range over four days, a trip I had not heard of anyone doing before. You can read a route description of that trip in the new Columbia Mountains ski touring book by Chic Scott. Hopefully more people will ski this route as it is stays high and crosses the entire Nakusp Range. It is probably too much to hope that people will do it all on skis as we did.

Mount Cooper From The Nakusp Range

Finally, in 2011, we were overnighting at Pendleton in Oregon in our little Boler trailer on the way to the Sierra's for a ski traverse. We stayed away about six weeks, had some great skiing in the Wasatch and Sierra Ranges and got in lots of early season climbing on the east side of the Sierras (Bishop, Owens River Gorge, Clark Canyon, etc.) and at Red Rocks in Nevada. I frequently remember the six days we spent travelling through the Sierra Mountains on skis. It was a trip I had wanted to do for years and it was fantastic. 

Doug Looking Small In The Sierras

That's it for this day in history. I think what stands out for me is how infrequently I go on trips with other women. Maybe I'll write about that in another blog post.

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